Another world lies tangent to our own—
where everything is whackeyed. You
wear purple skirts; you leave
the dustcloth on translucent shelves;
is slightly green.
I sculpture wood and plastic, talk
about the rain.
swigs from bottles of intense champagne.
To everything there is
“a touch of strange.”
When you go out of sight
you’re walking down a lamplit street
and in your place
the woman I embrace
writes strange lovephrases on my cellophane
slide in and out. They look
like time-exposure pictures of the moon
passed through eclipse
or our child’s bronze
toy of spiral rings
resting at the bottom of the stairs.
And there’s no stopping this
constant alternation of ourselves—
no steady state.
One moment you
are X, the other you’re X-I.
Only in your death
when both your bodies lie
stupid and nonplused as iron machines
will you be
who live in one world, spend
their lives explaining why they cannot change,
hanging portraits in their oval frames.
© Dick Allen